HOA: "Tear down that house"

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"[SANFORD, Fla.] A Sanford man whose wife and son were killed when an airplane crashed into their home may have to tear down his rebuilt house because a homeowners' association said he is breaking their rules."
http://www.local6.com/news/17427900/detail.html
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As much as I dislike most HOA's, I can see a couple of sides to this issue.
On one hand, if the poor widower wants to rebuild on the same lot under the same HOA, then he should follow the rules. If not, move. If they made exceptions for every tragic event that happened to someone in the neighborhood then the rules would be a joke. "I can never drive a car again because my wife died in an car accident. Let me keep my pick-up truck." I'm not defending the HOA per se, but if someone chooses to live in a HOA-controlled neighborhood, then they also choose to live under their rules.
On the other hand, how did it get so far into the process ("a few weeks from being completed') without the flags going up earlier? Didn't he have to have the plans approved before construction started? If the HOA approved them, then they can't stop it now. If he tried to avoid the approval, hoping to play on their sympathies, then he is at fault.
I think there is more to this story than just what's in the article.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

permit? That is tragic.
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wrote:

Some localities may also require a demolition permit. There must be a paper trail somewhere :(
Two planes have crashed into homes in N Las Vegas in past few weeks. Maybe they're in an HOA...
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The city building code may not have anything to do with the specific issue - the HOA's rules
The color of the shingles, the elevation, square footage and setbacks may be fine as far as the city is concerned.
However, if these particular HOA rules take precedence over the city's rules, then he could be in violation of the HOA even if he has a valid permit from the city.
The question that still remains in my mind is: How did they get within weeks of completion before this surfaced?
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

municipality without basic code requirements for the issues mentioned. Some setbacks just require paperwork to get an allowance to extend it.

second homes far away. Or they ignored it until someone complained. :o) The tough part is that construction is basic in HOA/condo documents, have to be enforced or risk losing the next time an issue comes up. I have sympathy for the owner's situation, but too many people use unfortunate circumstances to get around rules that really do protect communities.....the kid with a handicap who got a two- story playhouse, the woman with a husband in military who violated sign regs, etc, etc.
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wrote:

If the old home was demolished and a completely new one built, it might not be under the jurisdiction of the HOA. It's private property and the house that was a memeber of the HOA isn't on that property any longer.
Seems far fetched, but don't be surprised!
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On Wed, 10 Sep 2008 15:07:23 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

The tax man has to access the property, before move in (?). That's when the new house falls under the claws of and HOA.

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HOA is a private organization. If the guy hasn't signed an agreement with the HOA based on the completely new house, he may not be under their jurisdiction. I think he may have escaped. When he bought the original house, he had to sign an agreement wioth them. That agreement is now null and void. He just needs to find the right lawyer. He's obviously going to be needing one regardless.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

is built on it. Short of rising up and overthrowing/disbanding the HOA, only escape is to sell the property. And yes, they all work like that.
-- aem sends....
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Sorry, I'm not buying that answer until the Fat Lady sings and the judge rules. I think he originally signed an agreement that had stipulations about what he could do to a house that no longer exists. It's an opening, and a good lawyer can use it, as I'm sure they will.
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clipped

There is a separate statute in Florida just for HOA's. They are a form of government based on land ownership in the community.
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Finally, someone who knows how and is considerate enough to trim the original message and all subsequent answers so we don't have to scroll through everything to get to a one or two line comment. Thank you Norminn.
Don
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wrote:

Don't know how it works in your area, but in mine the covenants are part of the deed and thus follow the land and not the house. Wouldn't have changed a thing around here.
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wrote:

It REALLY depends on exactly what the covenants say, and how it might be construed or deconstructed under examination. If they don't explicitly say what happens if the house on the property ceases to exist, then it's not settled. I won't predict who will win in court, but I think there may be plenty to argue about. HOA's are not invincible, omniscient or omnipotent. They would like you to think that they are, so they always adopt the attitude of intimidation. Not everybody scares that easy.
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Why the $%% does anyone buy a home in a HOA community? If they couldnt sell houses they would stop creating these monstrosities. Any time I see HOA I say nothanks ad keep on going.
On Sep 10, 7:59pm, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

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On Wed 10 Sep 2008 04:59:25p, told us...

I had a humorous but exasperating experience with an HOA years ago, and I happened to be an HOA board member. I had a very traditional copper weathervane installed on our brick chimney. Within a week I received a letter signed by the board president stating that I had to remove it. I knew that there was nothing in our bylaws restricing or forbidding such an addition. I wrote a polite letter in reply stating that fact and adding that I would not remove it. Meanwhile, I re-read the bylaws with a fine- toothed comb to determine exactly what was addressed and what was clearly permissible. Within days the board called a meeting to discuss the matter. When a vote was taken, everyone else on the board voted to have the weathervane removed, but I voted to keep it. I also pointed out that one particular item was specifically addressed in the bylaws, the use of a rooftop or chimney mounted TV antenna or radio antenna. It stipulated that the height of the mast could not exceed 25 feet and the width of the antenna could not exceed 6 feet. They scoffed at any similarity to my situation. They also stated that every home in the development was wired for cable TV and that no one had an antenna, still insisting that the weathervane had to come down. I said fine, I will happily remove it on the same day that I install a 25 foot high TV antenna that was 6 feet wide. At the same meeting, I resigned my position on the board. The weathervane was installed in 1982 and is still in place.
--
Wayne Boatwright

*******************************************
  Click to see the full signature.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

they govern within the laws and the HOA documents. Board members can come into my condo any time they want - reasonable hours . Even cops don't have that power.
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wrote:

You are a sheeple.
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On Wed, 10 Sep 2008 19:59:25 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote Re Re: HOA: "Tear down that house":

The lawyers for the plaintiff will win. The lawyers for the defendant will win.
Everyone else loses.
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